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Augustine, the origin of evil, and the mystery of free will

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 November 2013

ADAM M. WILLOWS*
Affiliation:
Department of Theology and Religion, University of Durham, Abbey House, Palace Green, Durham, DH1 3RS, UK e-mail: adam.willows@durham.ac.uk

Abstract

The question of why humanity first chose to sin is an extension to the problem of evil to which the free-will defence does not easily apply. In De libero arbitrio and elsewhere Augustine argues that as an instance of evil, the fall is necessarily inexplicable. In this article, I identify the problems with this response and attempt to construct an alternative based on Peter van Inwagen's free will ‘mysterianism’. I will argue that the origin of evil is inexplicable not because it is an instance of evil, but because it is an instance of free will.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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